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Vote on School Reorganization

In the wake of a report recommending that the South Bay’s four beach city school districts be consolidated into two kindergarten-through-12th-grade systems, South Bay Union High School District trustees voted last week to leave the question of reorganization up to the beach cities’ elementary trustees.

On a 4-0 vote, with Trustee Jim Duffy abstaining, the board voted Wednesday to back the decision of the three separate elementary school boards on any reconfiguration they can agree upon. Schools in the area’s three beach cities--Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach--have in recent years been grappling with declining enrollment. They have been talking seriously since January about reorganizing the three elementary districts and single high school district to improve efficiency.

The high school district has favored consolidating all the schools into a single system, but the Redondo Beach trustees have launched a petition drive to create a unified, K-12 school system in Redondo Beach. The other two elementary school systems have remained undecided.

Last month, a consultant recommended that the schools follow Redondo Beach’s plan and create two unified beach city school districts. That recommendation is scheduled for consideration Tuesday at a special meeting of the four boards.

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South Bay Union Board President William Beverly said the high school trustees’ vote does not mean his district has abandoned its support for a single school district.

“We just wanted (the three elementary districts) to know we would support whatever they chose,” he said. If the other boards cannot reach consensus, he added, the high school district would also support the status quo.


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